14 Mount Carmel Pl.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Owner Erik Morabito launched this eatery in the Mount Carmel neighborhood of Poughkeepsie three years ago at a site that was once an Italian family deli. With exposed brick walls, rotating displays of art by local artists, and a stay-and-linger vibe, the café has become a favorite of both locals and day-trippers visiting the nearby Walkway Over the Hudson. “The neighborhood has turned into a real Little Italy; it’s very exciting,” says Morabito, who adds that crowds are expected for the second-annual Taste of Little Italy event, slated for Oct. 2 this year. Café Bocca’s menu changes daily, and many regulars recommend their parade of panini served on ciabatta rolls — you can choose from more than half a dozen. Among the melt-in-your-mouth sandwiches: breaded eggplant panini with peppers, cheese, baby greens, and balsamic vinaigrette; and tuna salad panini with capers, mayo, celery, field greens, and tomatoes.